In 2006, Al Gore presented the world An Inconvenient Truth. A film illustrating the disasters of a world in the midst of upcoming climate crises and the dangers of “global warming” - which we popularly call today “climate change”. Even though exaggerated in its data and timescales, this film and scientific knowledge we’ve gathered thus far, have served as a wake-up call for the world, businesses, and governments - giving way to the Paris Agreement in late 2015. Signed by 196 countries in 2016, the agreement aimed to deal with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, social and industrial adaptation, and economic transformations to have the world carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050 while also maintaining the world cooler 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
How do we solve this issue? What can you do today to be part of the solution?
The answer to this problem can only be resolved through a commitment of collective human efforts in order to have a significant impact on how we consume, reuse, and repurpose the world’s natural and produced resources. As of recently, especially within startup communities and culture, buzzwords like “climate positive”, “rainforest approved”, and “ zero-carbon” have popped up on certified seals all over websites, stores, merchandise, and products. So let’s get familiar with some terms and ideas on how you can make the world a better place - for all of us.
"Achieving carbon neutrality means reducing as many carbon emissions as possible and then off-setting those that cannot be eliminated"
- Sphera Oficial Website.
- Carbon Neutral - This is achieved when a company, business, or otherwise is able to remove the amount of carbon it produces. This can be done by investing in sustainable inhouse projects, buying carbon offsets or credits, and partnering with environmentally friendly organizations that will cancel out the carbon you produce.
- Carbon Zero - When a product or service reaches zero-carbon, this ensures that no carbon emissions are produced by the company providing them. This is usually applied to transportation and construction, but, can apply to a multifaceted array of industries from food to textile.
- Carbon Negative - A carbon-negative (sometimes also called “carbon positive”) business extracts more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits. So, not only does the company go to great lengths to achieve a zero-carbon factor - but it also goes the extra mile to profit, produce, or use the extra carbon that others are producing. It’s a win-win-win!
Now that you know and are made aware of these fundamental concepts to keeping the world clean and safe for all, beware of corporate greenwashing. Some companies will strive to keep themselves trendy, in the loop, and paint themselves as keeping up with the times by using one of many environmentally sustainable jargons - companies will flat out lie to you to get you to buy! On the other hand, companies like Stripe, PAS 2060, Rainforest Alliance, and Climate Neutral aim to reduce your carbon footprint by offsetting any and all emissions in an efficient and responsible manner by doing it themselves or invest funding in innovative partner projects - giving you and your business a “climate positive” seal of approval.
Renewable energy options can also aid you in the quest to be more sustainable and reduce your CO2 output. Portugal has shown great promise in being one of the top leaders in renewable energies of the world by having the entire country plugged into a renewable energy outlet. Great companies like Iberdrola, EDP, Galp, and Endesa give you renewable energy options from sources such as solar, hydro, ocean, wind, biomass, and geothermal energy in all of Portugal. Despite a small percentage of energy power still produced by fossil fuels, specifically coal and oil, the contribution of renewable energy sources is increasing and shows no signs of slowing down. This is great news that translates to that there is a very real possibility that the whole country may one day rely 100% on clean and renewable energy sources.
“We're running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.”
- Elon Musk
By mitigating our carbon output, we play a crucial role in inevitably creating a positive and healthy input into our communities, nations, and global conditions. So adopt new methods of sustainability in your workplace, put in the time and clean energy by researching the best possible solutions for you and your company. Do not ruin your brand’s name by being a hypocrite - lead by example and do what is right by investing in your own carbon footprint reduction, or a partner company that can help you reach net-zero carbon emissions. With a few changes, we can all make the world a better place!
Ask us how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint by investing in a shared workspace environment that takes environmentally sustainable measures. Let us help you become more eco-friendly!